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DIY Shag Rag Rug {Tutorial}


I have spent the past 4 weeks making a Shag Rag Rug for Riley's nursery and am thrilled to say that it's finally complete!! It was one of the easiest projects I've ever done; however it was by far the most time consuming, but it was WELL worth it!!! It turned out better than I imagined and looks just like the ones that retail for $600+
Checkout my DIY Shag Rag Rug Tutorial!! I hope you enjoy!
diy shag rag rug tutorial, crafts, flooring
Cut Fabric into 5" by 1" strips
diy shag rag rug tutorial, crafts, flooring
Weave Fabric under one of the holes and back up through another hole (I weaved the fabric in a vertical direction). I left one row of holes empty on all sides.
diy shag rag rug tutorial, crafts, flooring
Pull the fabric so that it’s even on both sides and tie it into a knot (this will hold the fabric in place)
diy shag rag rug tutorial, crafts, flooring
If you are using two colors then you should alternate colors as you go.
diy shag rag rug tutorial, crafts, flooring
Continue adding Fabric Strips alternating colors as you go. It will look bare at first but the more rows you add the fuller it will get. Here is what it looks like after adding two rows of fabric
diy shag rag rug tutorial, crafts, flooring
This is how your DIY Shag Rag Rug will look upclose
diy shag rag rug tutorial, crafts, flooring
This is a completed version of my Shag Rug on wood floors
diy shag rag rug tutorial, crafts, flooring
A picture of how it looks on carpet

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

8 questions
  • Mary M. Prinzavalli
    on Dec 8, 2015

    Very pretty and well done. where do you find the backing and do you tie a knot or just fold over 1 time. what kind of fabric did you use?

    • Jessica
      on Dec 14, 2015

      @Mary M. Prinzavalli Thank you so much!! If you go to the post I did on my blog you can find a lot of additional information on the fabric and the rug mat. I tied my fabric, you can leave it flat; however I was worried it may come out, but I've seen where people leave it without tying it into a knot. I hope this helps :- ) XoXo

  • Ali Kay
    on Feb 18, 2016

    Hi! I have been making rag rugs for years, but usually make my own weft. Where did you find yours? ( the base material you are tying your strips to)

    • Gill Wood
      on Apr 18, 2016

      In England we use sacking, I think you call it Burlap, a lot of my friends on narrow boats make them as it was part of the history of the boats, they make cushions to match

    • Wendy Johnson
      on May 10, 2016

      She said she used a non slip rug pad. I saw another post before and that is what they used to . It is on her web site

    • Tamie A
      on May 12, 2016

      I purchased my rug backing at Wal-Mart in the rug section.

  • Brooke
    on Feb 19, 2016

    This is EXACTLY what I'm wanting to do in my little girls room!!!! Super like! While rugs (and crafts) can be a bit pricey, would you say your cost is mostly due to the fabric? What type of fabric was used? How much did you purchase (I guess also how big is the rug shown)? And have you washed it all? Thanks in advance!!!

    • Jessica
      on Mar 6, 2016

      Hi Brooke, I'm so sorry for the delay, as I just saw your question. The cost was definitely due to the fabric. I have some additional details around the cost and the fabric in my blog post here but to answer your question I used a thicker fabric, it's cotton interlock so the knit is the same on both sides, you can use a thinner material like jersey knit, it's single knit (so it has a right side and a wrong side). I haven't actually washed it (I'm planning to do it soon though, so i'm going to post an update afterwards). I'm planning to wash it in the bath tub and then hang it over the shower to dry. I hope this helps!! :-)Oh, My rug is a 4x6 and I used about 10.5 yards of fabric but I purchased 11 yards.

  • Pam Lewandowski
    on Mar 14, 2016

    This is adorable. I'm thinking about doing for our daughter's room. Have you washed it and how had it held up? Do you just take outside and shake it out? Hints from what you've done. thanks!!!

    • Jessica
      on May 2, 2016

      Hi Pam, I swear I answered your question previously, but it's not showing up, so it doesn't look like my answer posted. I'm sorry about that! I am actually in the process of washing it now, well i've removed it from Riley's room, shaken it off and am planning to wash it in the bath tub and then let it dry over the shower. I'll add an update once I've completed the washing process! My biggest fear is flooding the bathroom from all of the dripping water during the air drying process.

    • Pam Lewandowski
      on May 2, 2016

      Good Luck!!! Thanks for keeping us posted. Again, it's beautiful!

    • Liz Wilcher
      on May 10, 2016

      I made a rag rug using a different techniques. Here's how it looks after numerous machine washings and dryings (if that's even a word).

    • Leslie
      on May 10, 2016

      Jessica if you need to dry the rug in your bathroom get a tension shower rod and put it from one side of the shower to the other and then hang the rug over it. If you have a deck put the rug into a plastic trash bag and then hang it over a railing. If you have a fence throw it over the fence right side up.

  • Carole5kasson
    on May 10, 2016

    What is the fabric you wove the strips into? And where can I get it.

    • Carmen Erisman
      on May 10, 2016

      Looks like non slip rubber cupboard /drawer liner stuff. But I have never seen the grid that big. I had the same question. Maybe one can purchase it from a craft store for rug making.

    • Norma best
      on May 10, 2016

      Could it be the non-slip backing used on floor rugs ?

    • Peggy Hoskins Smith
      on May 10, 2016


    • Leslie
      on May 10, 2016

      Jessica did state on her site that it is rug backing that you can buy just about anywhere. The grid isn't that big, she took closeup pictures to show in detail how she hooked and tied the rug.

    • Jessica
      on Jun 1, 2016

      I apologize for the delay, it is a non slip floor mat, I used cotton interlock fabric. Leslie is correct, you can buy the backing almost anywhere. If you checkout the link attached to they post you'll find a lot of additional info. Thanks!

    • Lilpixiestixxx
      on Feb 15, 2017

      FOUND all sizes of the backing on You can make any size from it and its cheaper there than anywhere else I have looked.

  • Sandra McIntyre Cramer
    on Jul 22, 2016

    Where do you get the backing that you tie the fabric too? I love this!

  • Susie Henry Timmerman Blank
    on Jul 25, 2016

    Can you use old t-shirts as the strips of fabric?

    • Roz Davidson
      on Jul 29, 2016

      I have Susie and it turned out fantastic... just be ready for the "snow" from the fabric. I did mine outside.

    • Kat13684468
      on Jan 9, 2017

      So darling! How did you store the rug as you were working on it? Rolled or flat?

  • Karla Hand
    on Jul 8, 2017

    Hi Jessica~ your gorgeous rug inspired me to make MY first rag rug!! I am using flannel, two solid colors and one print. I have two questions I need help with: 1) should I wash the material first?; 2) some videos show tying the strips twice instead of once. How do I determine which is correct for my b
    • Charlee Hunter
      on Aug 18, 2017

      I would think it would be necessary to tie twice, as this would create a complete knot. If only tied once I would think it could come loose. Washing first would depend on whether or not the material you are using will shrink when washed. Mostly I don't think I'd worry too much about doing that in this instance.

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